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|Born||March 12, 1919
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||December 30, 2006
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Years active||1949-2006 (his death)|
Frank Campanella (born March 12, 1919 - died December 30, 2006) was an American character actor.
Campanella was born in New York City, the son of Sicilian immigrants Mary O. and Philip Campanella, a musician. He was the brother of actor Joseph Campanella and spoke mostly Italian growing up; this proved useful during World War II, when he worked as a civilian translator for the U.S. government. Campanella attended Manhattan College, where he studied drama.
Campanella's first film role was as "Mook the Moon-Man" in the 1949 science fiction series Captain Video and His Video Rangers. He went on to appear in more than 100 film and television episodes, usually playing the "tough guy." Campanella appeared as a bartender in Mel Brooks' The Producers (1968), starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. He helped Robert De Niro learn Sicilian for his role as young Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather: Part II (1974).
Campanella's early television roles included three appearances as different police lieutenants on the syndicated crime drama, Decoy, starring Beverly Garland as the first female police lead in a television series. In one of the Decoy episodes, he appeared with his brother, Joseph Campanella. Over his career he appeared, often in police roles, in such well-known series as Ironside, Mannix, The Rockford Files, Chico and the Man, All in the Family, Maude, Rhoda, and The Love Boat. In 1976, he guest-starred in two episodes of Gibbsville.
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